Sunday, April 30, 2006

Calendar Battle: April

It’s hours away from the end of April, and only now I finalised this entry. Sorry, my bad: P Anyway…

Natasha Hudson VS Chiling Lin

For the rules, click here. Ctrl-F, type ‘---‘ & Enter to jump to battle.


Natasha Hudson:-



A model, a singer, a dancer, a TV presenter, an actress…she’s done it all. 15 years of experience altogether yet she is only 23/24!

This petite girl with an Australian – Malaysian/Indonesian parentage started her stunning career at the age of seven. She first appeared in the Malaysian media as a cheerleader in a Nesquick commercial, followed by a McDonald’s ad and a few more ads. She went off the camera for a while until she was 16 when Pantene got her back on the spotlight. From then on her work continues to grow, as she started modelling at the same age and appearing in print ads.
That didn’t stop her from finishing a three-year diploma in graphic design and going to the United States for her degree. She even enrolled herself in the Chicago School of Arts, completing a degree in performing arts and excelling in dancing the flamenco. She also managed to do a couple of modelling stints over there.

Upon her return to Malaysia, she gave her modelling a break and joined an advertising company. However, things didn’t work out for her and hence going back to modelling was her wise decision. After some time modelling in Singapore, Thailand and Europe, she worked with L’oreal for an ad before she was offered to act in a mini-drama. Her acting career did not go far though as she had two unsuccessful teledramas on TV3 and a movie that never made it to the big screen.

Nonetheless, she is the current host of Astro Ria’s Fashion TV.



Oh, she has performed with some bands in Singapore has recorded a demo some time back. She’s doing everything is she?

Natasha has been hailed as one of Malaysia’s 20 Most Celebrated Models to be dressed by the country’s Most Celebrated Fashion Designers at an event organised by jewellery company Rafflesia Pearl Centre and Glam magazine (New Straits Times, 2005).

Right, where should I start? OK, to be honest I don’t find her to be the prettiest of the lot. Google couldn’t help me find more photos of her, but so far…she’s not my taste la in short. She has those kissable lips though.

Would this talented lady can get the better of…



Chiling Lin:-



[For more info on her, click here]

She’s back! The “Daughter of Taiwan” is back!

Just like the Terminator.



She has won it the last time…can she make it a double?

---

Judgement Day:-



Natasha Hudson:
A fairly average background…but with her leaning beside a pillar with her red-hot dress, you would be forgiven if she’ll say “What you’re up to boy?” should you be in front of her in real (or fantasy) life. She has the kinky eyes, but her slight muscle tones from her arm just don’t get me excited. Is that C-Cup breast size for real or is that made out of plastic?

Photo Style: 4/10
Pose & Looks: 6/10

Chiling Lin:
Oh my God…she is so beautiful in this picture! The colour tone of the curtain-like background matches really well with her skin...and that short skirt did wonders to the photo. She posed nicely to show her curves too. Notice her top part of her dress is a heart-shape. The best of all: she SMILED! Ok, so it’s not a wide-smile, but at least she smiled :)

Photo Style: 8/10
Pose & Looks: 9/10

Overall:-
Chiling came back from her disappointing result last month to get herself a massive 17 points and literally stomped on Natasha’s 10. Talented as Natasha may be, but she’s not in the league of Chiling when it comes to beauty. Again, there’ll be some that prefers Natasha, but for me, Chiling won hands down.

References:-
Life Thru Mylens (http://www.lifethrumylens.com/blog/archives/wedding_bells_viii_natasha_hudson.html)
mSTAR Online (http://mstar.com.my/cms/viewMedia.jsp?id=aa6ff08a-c0a85062-164f01b0-8189debf)
New Strait Times (http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/Sunpeople/Sunday/CoverStory/20050804121559/html)
Google as usual.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Samsung SGH-X640 Camera Phone: Part 2 - The Review

Alright, after three weeks testing the X640, I can say that I am very familiar with the phone’s functions and hence I am now able to review it. I will be comparing this phone with another phone, the Samsung SGH-X430 phone.

Let’s start off with the physical attributes of the two phones:-



The X640 is just slightly bigger than the X430, with the X640’s dimensions being 87.4 X 47 X 23mm as compared to X430’s 80 X 41 X 20mm.
X640’s weight is significantly heavier than X430 as well…X460’s about 85g without the battery while X430’s about 83g WITH the battery.
Talk about lightweight.
I reckon X640 looks better than X430 though. You think so?

Anyway, it was X430’s way until…



Specifications:
…X640 pretty much whooped X430 when it comes to the more important sections:-

[Specifications] – (X640 / X430)

Band – (TriBand / DualBand)
LCD Resolution – (128*160 / 128*128)
LCD Colour – (65,536 / 65,536)
Ringtone – (40-chord Poly / 40 Poly)
Virtual Machine – (MIDP 2.0 / Java)
Browser – (WAP 2.0 / WAP 1.2)
Phone Memory – (1,000 / 500)
Phone Colour – (Grey / Pearl White, Metallic Silver, Champagne Gold, Violet)
Battery Capacity (Standard 800mAh / Standard 720mAh)
Battery Talk Time – (3.5 hours max / 3 hours max)
Battery Standby Time – (220 hours max / 70 hours max)

Ok, so X430 is more colourful than the dull grey X640, but when it really comes to practicality, X640 is far superior than X430...more memory, better battery life, bigger screen and colours… the stats say for itself.

Unique Functions (that differ one another):

For X640:-
The phone has a loudspeaker function with voice clarity. I love this function :) In addition to the already stated 1,000 phone book entries and WAP 2.0 with GPRS Class 10, the phone has a voice recorder (not so useful one to be honest) and a timer and stopwatch. Ultimately and more obviously the X640’s best function would be its integrated VGA (640 x 480) camera, which made comparison with X430 quite unfair to begin with. The camera would be able to do 4x digital zoom & contrast adjustment, multi-shot, night-mode, self-portrait with external mirror (mirror?? Ugh, talk about being vain) and special photos effects and photo frames.



For X430:-
Oh dear, I’m afraid this phone’s unique functions is just seven different colours for the signal beacon and a folder tone.


The biggest factor: SMS Operation
While the camera function and the speaker with voice clarity is a nice function, what I am most happy about the X640 is the ease of use when it comes to SMS.

Two things that made the difference: The stability of the phone and, more importantly, the ability to spell and save words Samsung T9 mode (dictionary mode) could not recognise!

X430 just sucked when it comes to messaging; many times when I type fast the phone would just suddenly go back to the main menu, losing all the effort I’ve made to type down a long message. Fucking frustrating and annoying I must say. Speaking about frustrations, I can’t even bloody save the word ‘Fuck’ or even anything for the matter! My debut phone, which was the Nokia 3330, had the spell/dictionary function, so I don’t see any reason why Samsung should not have the function like that on a more advanced phone like X430.

With X640, my prayers have been answered and I can now begin to like SMS-ing again. I do not know when the phone would go unstable like X430 (Choi! Touch wood!), but as long as I am able to save the word ‘Cibai’ or any non-English word and consistently use that on my SMS (“Eh, wanna tar kei?” for example) I’m happy.

Weaknesses:-

Not all is excellent with the X640, at least the technical side of the phone. At the short messages section, if you created a message instead of going to your inbox, you CAN’T go back to the short messages section, but you’ll end up going back to the main menu. Also, the picture you have taken will mysteriously looked further than what was shown on the LCD screen before you’ve taken a picture, especially if you didn’t zoom. Funny. Oh yea, when you sent a message it will AUTOMATICALLY be saved to Outbox, hence wasting memory space. No option to change such settings. Lacking games by default too…it only provided me with two games (Snowballfight and BubbleSmile)

On the other hand, X430 had it worst. Besides the SMS explained earlier, it may sometimes automatically switch off, especially when I wanted to keep the phone on silent mode (by holding the # button). The alarm for the phone has its issues as well…what was supposedly a daily alarm turned out to be alarm ONCE only. Yes, I checked the settings…it’s supposed to ring everyday at a certain time…and yea, it rang on one day only! Sigh.

Conclusion:-

It’s pretty clear that the X640 is much better than the X430, though I feel that there may be other Samsung or even other phone brands that can be better than X640. As far as a “free’ phone goes though, I’m pretty much satisfied with it.

Now here’s a painful bit. I scratched the phone. I fucking scratched the phone! :( Don’t ask why…



Best Bit of X640:
Calling a friend using the loudspeaker function for help…typing down the assignment with both hands while asking my friend for some assistance with the assignment felt great!

Worst Bit of X640:
No folder tone? It lacks games by default and I don’t plan to download.

Best Bit of X430:
The ‘Cat’ tone to confuse my friend’s stray cat, “Woo” folder tone.

Worst Bit of X430:
When typing “Ok, tell me why I should meet you at this pla…” and then it returns to the main menu. Fuck. Oh, I can’t save that…not a bloody dictionary in X430!

Coming up: A belated Calendar Battle: April edition.

References:
Nokia Malaysia (http://www.nokia.com.my/nokia/0,,50490,00.html)
Samsung Mobile Australia (
http://www.au.samsungmobile.com/)
For Part 1: Optus (
http://www.optus.com.au/) & Google for ‘When A Stranger Calls’ picture.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Samsung SGH-X640 Camera Phone: Part 1 - The Story



I was in my workplace on Friday when I received the call:

Ah_Mike: [insert office name], this is Mike speaking.

Unknown: *with an absolute fake Indian accent* Hello, is this the number [insert number]?

A_M: Yes, it is. Can I help you?

U: *with a higher pitch* Congratulations Sir! You have won yourself a mobile phone!

A_M: (what the fuck?) Huh??

Salesperson: Yes, sir, you have won yourself a Samsung camera phone! This number is just one out of the five lucky numbers our company has chosen!

A_M: (what kinda joke is this?) Erm, really?

S: Yes, Sir! In addition of the Samsung camera phone, you will also be provided a free Optus™ plan of $230 credit!


Nothing to do with the actual scenario.

I was pessimistic about all this “free” shit. Didn’t help that I was pretty busy with my workload and I need to get back to work soon.

A_M: So what phone did I exactly win?

S: Well, Sir, the phone you have won is a Samsung SGH-X640 camera phone. It can take pictures as well as surfing the Internet…and it also comes with a hand-free kit and a pouch for the phone. What is your name by the way, Sir?

A_M: Mike speaking.

S: OK, Mike, if you really want the camera phone, I would like to know your particulars…

A_M: (What?) Hang on. I want to know who I am talking to.

S: This is John (dunno his surname) and I am calling from [insert company name]. We are a representative of Optus…

He continues to blabber about what the company does with Optus…

John: So is there any other questions I may answer you Mike?

A_M: About the plan…

That fucker cut my sentence off.

J: Oh, for the plan you will have a credit of $230 including domestic and international calls and short messaging service for a cost of $69 a month directly from your debit card for up to 24 months.

I knew there was a cost to this “free” nonsense.

A_M: 24 months? I’m not sure if I can use for that long ‘cause I’m only an International student.

J: Oh haha (in a truly fake laughter).


Not the actual scenario.

He went on to ask about me and talking about the company…I can’t remember the whole content, but it did take a lot of time.

A_M: Would it be possible if I can change ownership of the plan to someone else once I leave Australia?

J: Yes Mike, you may be able to do as long as the plan is still in service. You may wish to even downgrade from $69 for $230 credit to $39 for $115 credit by calling us or by visiting the Optus centre.

A_M: (This better be true you son of a bitch) Ok, that is good.

It was a risk. $69 is steep, but at least I’ve my job salary to at least cover the cost. Besides, I would usually pay about $60 to $90 per month for my Optus prepaid number…and my job would require me to call people on the go. It doesn’t help the fact that calling people who are non-Optus users is bloody expensive. Sigh, I hope I can find someone to take over my number.

J: So are you still interested?

Here goes nothing.

A_M: Yea. So what do I need to do now?

J: Ok, I would need to know your particulars…

One week later.



Housemate: Hey Mike, you got a package.

A_M: Thank you.

H: What is this?



A_M: My phone.

H: (With a curious look) Aha…



End of Part 1.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Random ramblings before I go


I'll be going to Noosa beach later today. Hopefully shouldn't be a problem with the accomodation. Will be back by Saturday night.

I look forward to this trip...not because I wanna see the beach, but rather I wanna put my mind away for all the shit I had to face over and over again.

The following is simply written from my head; no editing, and pure random. It will be written in Malay, so my target audience for this entry is pretty much down to Malaysians who can read Malay:-

"Kamu berlakon macam kita tak kenal saje"
"Itu sebab kamu selalu lagak macam kita tak kenal setiap kali kita keluar"

"Setiap kali anda mahu saya untuk memanggil anda, tetapi bila saya panggil anda tidak mendengar"

"Eh, boleh tunggu saya di luar [tempat makan]?"
"Boleh, pukul berapa?"
"7.30pm"
"Boleh...jumpa anda di situ."
30 minit lepas 7.30pm
"Eh, kamu di mana la"
"Oh, saya baru keluar dari rumah sahaja, tunggu saya lagi ya"
"APA?" (!@>*!& Chao Cibai Hamkachan...)

"Saya benci semua lelaki"
"Itu kerana kamu perempuan hina"
"Eh, lelaki itu agak comel"
"...."

End of Ramblings. Coming up: A two-part story on the phone.

Thanks to TourismNoosa for the photo.

Monday, April 17, 2006

One of the stupidest thing I've read...

First off, I'm BACK! After a fuck-up, stressful Thursday finishing assessments and taking three days sleeping, arcading and even a KTV session (!), I got my blogging hat back on. My Good Friday and Easter's crap though...seriously, Brisbane has no life when it comes to public holidays (maybe except Christmas, but I'm not around by then anyway)

Ok, so I promised more story on 'Lucky!', but that'll have to come a bit later as I'm still testing the phone.

Right now however, will be something that is simply…shocking.

Not too long ago, I read an article on The Courier Mail. The contents of the article simply bemuse me.

Have a read on the article below by clicking on the image.



And for the lazy readers...



What the fuck man…what kind of club is that??? Suing a person for “stealing” their water…the water’s not even enough to water a plant la! Goodness…such horrible public relations.

Sigh…if this is the mentality of Australians in general, then I shouldn’t even think about living here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Chessboard Down

Clouded Pawn will be temporary unavailable due to the following errors:

1) Hot Topic Written: Chapter 7 - Segmenting and Targeting

A 2,000-word essay describing the benefits of segmenting the market and and the various types of segmentation used by companies today. Academic research and references required for maximum grade.

2) Self-Map Graphic Design

Using Adobe Photoshop, one must design a 'self-map' of a self identity by using images that represents time, location and theme/concept. A 200-word brief is required for an explaination of the design.

3) Case Study Analysis: Public Relations Efforts for and againsts a Biosolid Research Facility

A 2,500-word essay explaining the problems faced by a company and the alternative solutions to resolve the case. Academic research and references required for maximum grade.

All errors should be fixed by Thursday 13 April 2006. Clouded Pawn should be back online by Good Friday at the earliest.

Apologies for the inconviences.

Sincerely,
Ah_Mike

P.S: Wow, this blog has hit the 1,000 viewers mark! Cool...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lucky!

Woo Hoo~! I won myself a Samsung X640 camera phone! W00t!

Will tell you more later :D